Do you ever wake up with a headache and a stiff neck and jaw? Do you ever hear a popping sound when you open your mouth wide to bite into an apple or a double cheeseburger? Do you ever feel pain in your jaw when chewing, laughing, or yawning?
Your jaw gets a workout every day. Normal activities like biting, chewing, talking, singing, and smiling are all made possible by the way your jaw moves. But if there are any problems with the muscles or joints that connect your jaw to your skull, or if you can’t close your mouth comfortably, you might have a TMJ disorder.
November is TMJ Awareness Month, and we’re doing our part to raise awareness by sharing some of the most important facts about TMJ conditions. Here’s everything you need to know, at a glance.
20 TMJ Facts
- TMJ stands for “temporo-mandibular joint.”
- Your TMJ connects your jawbone to your cheekbone, just in front of your ears.
- TMJ disorders (TMJD) cause chronic jaw pain.
- An estimated 36 million Americans suffer from TMJD.
- Women are twice as likely as men to develop TMJD.
- TMJ disorders are complicated and often occur along with related conditions.
- Over 30 different health conditions can coexist with TMJD.
- Dental conditions like a misaligned bite or teeth grinding can cause TMJD.
- Arthritis often complicates TMJD.
- Stress is also related to TMJ disorders.
- TMJD symptoms may come and go.
- Symptoms of TMJ disorders include: popping or clicking sensations, headaches, jaw pain, face or neck pain, dizziness, ringing in the ears, stiff or locked jaw, difficulty chewing or opening your mouth
- Heat therapy can help with dull, aching pains.
- Cold therapy can relieve sharp, shooting pain.
- Eating small bites and soft foods will help relieve jaw tension from chewing.
- Self-massage can help as well.
- Dentists are usually the ones who diagnose TMJD.
- Aligning your bite with orthodontics like braces or Invisalign can help relieve TMJ pain.
- Wearing a mouthguard at night can treat bruxism as well as TMJD.
- If you have severe or chronic jaw pain, you should see a dentist.
Diagnosis and Treatment for TMJ Disorders in Aurora, Colorado
Jaw pain can be treated! If you have TMJ pain from a misalignment or teeth grinding, we can help. Jaw pain can also be caused by other conditions like bone loss from periodontitis or a dental abscess. If you’re suffering from jaw pain, please make an appointment at Panorama Dental today. We can treat all types of tooth-related jaw pain, and help you find lasting relief.